These so-called ‘austere’ times are, frankly, about as austere as Elvis’ fridge compared with the living conditions endured during the Blitz. But an event at the London Transport Museum highlights the inventive wheezes people would use in the 1940s, and during the rationing of the 1950s, to keep up personal appearances.
Despite strict regulations and ‘fashion rations’ people still maintained style. New austerity fashion items such as trousers and wedge sole shoes, along with hats – which were unrationed, provided an opportunity to update looks, whilst old blankets and curtains took on new roles as coats and dresses.
The talk, by fashion and design historian Emmanuelle Dirix, will include archive film footage to illustrate the make-do-and-mend society.
Beauty and the Blitz, part of the Under Attack: London, Coventry and Dresden exhibition programme, takes place at London Transport Museum on Tuesday 7 December, 6.30pm. Tickets: Adults £8.00; senior citizens £6.00; students £4.00. Tickets can be reserved in advance on 020 7565 7298.
Image by Buckaroo Kid in the Londonist Flickr pool.